Detroit Lions Third Running Back Competition: Dan Campbell Weighs In

Discover the heated Detroit Lions third running back competition. With special teams in focus, who will rise to claim the spot?

Detroit Lions Third Running Back Competition

As the Detroit Lions prepare for roster cuts, the battle heats up for the third running back spot. With David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs holding the top two positions securely, the third seat is up for grabs. For Head Coach Dan Campbell, it's not merely about the prowess in rushing. Speaking to the press, Campbell emphasized the importance of special teams in the selection process.

Dan Campbell Emmanuel Moseley C.J. Gardner-Johnson Jameson Williams Detroit Lions Third Running Back Competition

Dan Campbell Weighs In

The candidate pool is bustling with talent; Benny Snell, Devine Ozigbo, Craig Reynolds, Jermar Jefferson, and Mohamed Ibrahim are all vying for the Lions' RB3 roster spot. The retirement announcement of Justin Jackson, who was previously the favorite to land the job due to his commendable special teams contributions, has intensified the competition.

“Every one of them has an opportunity, they know this… Our eyes are open,” Dan Campbell said on Monday. “We’re looking for a third back and it all starts with special teams. If they can help us there, then we can figure out the offensive side of things.”

To add to the suspense, injuries have sidelined Jefferson and Ibrahim, while Reynolds was restricted in practice. Ozigbo and Snell have been maximizing their chances, especially after getting a good run in the recent preseason opener.

“Nothing is solidified in that third role or fourth for that matter — we’re going to take the best players. Our eyes are open. Brad and I, we’re discussing. You want a job, go get it,” Campbell said.

Campbell commended Snell, mentioning his adaptability and mental strength, even though he's a recent addition to the team.

“(Snell) did some good things,” Campbell said. “It is interesting to see these guys and you’re like, ‘Man, he just walked in the door,’ and now all of a sudden you’re just, ‘Get in there.’ But he did, he competed. I thought mentally he was good, there’s – there like anybody else, there’s a few things to clean up, but certainly it wasn’t too much for him. He wasn’t frazzled.”

TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell accentuates the significance of special teams contributions in determining the third running back position.
  2. The retirement of Justin Jackson opened doors for competition, with prominent contenders including Benny Snell and Devine Ozigbo, both of whom made notable impressions during the preseason opener.
  3. Various injuries to contenders, such as Jermar Jefferson and Mohamed Ibrahim, have added layers of complexity to the competition, but also opportunities for newer entrants to seize the moment.
2023 Detroit Lions Alternate Helmet 2023 Detroit Lions Training Camp Brad Holmes Justin Jackson Dan Campbell C.J. Gardner Johnson Detroit Lions 53-man roster Shane Zylstra Dylan Drummond Avery Davis Bobby Hart Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants
Courtesy of Detroit Lions

Bottom Line – When the Going Gets Tough, The Lions Pounce

The Detroit Lions are more than just a team; they're a unit that understands the intricacies of the game. Every spot, every role is crucial. While the third running back position may not seem paramount, in the grand scheme, it's these decisions, these battles, that shape a season. As the Lions prepare for the upcoming campaign, one thing is certain: they're not just building a team; they're crafting a legacy. And as Coach Dan Campbell always says, if you want a job, go get it. The gridiron awaits.


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